Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Western New York
Just a couple of thoughts, here. The Sub frame connectors are good, but if you are thinking serious track time, I'd add at least, a roll bar, with five/six point harness added.
Re your questions of the 2.3, I'd say it will stand up to much more than you'd expect. It is extremely robust in stock form. You can increase the compression to about 11.5 with block and head milling, and the roller rockers are good for any cam profile you want to run. Valve springs/retainers/keepers are interchangeable with small block ford V8 engines, so there are cheap items available. FYI alternate aluminum heads are available from Esslinger, both for Individual runner intake, and another (stock car racing) that uses the stock configuration intake manifold. I'd NOT recommend either for your intentions (cost and utility), since more useable streetable equipment is available.
The bottom end is known for 9000RPM capability, and basically, the engines will run forever (provided you don't do something extremely stupid).
Work on the chassis to give you handling and safety. Get a second set of wheels (aftermarket works well, and costs very little) for the softer compound tires for the track. Spend time in the car, not on the car (wrenching).
Have a ball!!